glee
FOX
Special Preview Tuesday 19 May @ 9pm ET/PT

Extended Preview

Whenever we get DVDs of new shows from the networks, they are accompanied by very stern language: don’t post it on the blog, don’t share it with chums, this disc will self-destruct as soon as the credits roll. And, like the good little media outlet that we are, we always pay mind to these warnings.

Except this time. I was super-thrilled when I learned that Ryan Murphy’s new show had been picked up for 13 episodes on FOX. The other shows he has created (‘Popular’ and ‘Nip/Tuck’) ride this fine line between a funny yet dark reality and the fantastical and absurd. I was a big fan of ‘Popular’ when it first came out and still harbor the DVDs (if you haven’t seen it, have a look at the brilliant Christmas special in season one). And a musical comedy is the perfect thing for Mr. Murphy. I MAY have shown a couple pals so they could share my exuberance over this new program.

‘Glee’ takes places at a small high school in suburban Ohio, where all the John Hughes-y stock characters are present. And the resident Spanish teacher (Broadway’s Matthew Morrison) wants to take over the tiny island-of-misfit-toys glee club to inspire a few awkward teenagers. The cast is great (especially Jenna Ushkowitz from “Spring Awakening” fame), the music is invigorating and the struggle of the underdog is always worth the journey. The pilot perhaps leans too heavily on Morrison’s character and some of the effervescence fades away between the three musical numbers, but hopefully subsequent episodes will put the kids front and center. They’re the ones to watch, and when this show kicks into gear, it’ll make you stand up and cheer. Critics say that all the time, but I actually did it in my apartment when I watched it by myself. So there.